- First Solar has revealed Alabama’s Lawrence County as the location of its new US manufacturing factory
- To be built with around $1.1 billion investment, the fab will be sited at Mallard Fox Industrial Park
- The new fab will host 3.5 GW DC annual capacity once it comes online by 2025
First Solar management has announced Alabama’s Lawrence County as the location of its new solar PV module manufacturing facility which will have an annual capacity of 3.5 GW DC and which on completion will take the company’s US manufacturing capacity cumulatively to over 10 GW by 2025.
The new facility will be sited in Mallard Fox Industrial Park. It is scheduled for commissioning by 2025 and cost an investment of approximately $1.1 billion, according to the company.
It will expand the company’s manufacturing footprint from 3 other fabs in Ohio. While 2 of these are already in commercial operations with 3.0 GW DC combined capacity, the 3rd is under construction and will have 3.5 GW DC annual capacity when it is commissioned in H1/2023.
Including both new Ohio and Alabama fabs, First Solar estimates them to create a minimum of 850 new manufacturing and over 100 new R&D jobs to become the ‘largest employer in the American solar manufacturing sector’, employing over 3,000 in 4 US states by 2025.
The American manufacturer is also building a 3.3 GW DC thin film solar fab in India’s Tamil Nadu state. Even before the facility has come online, First Solar claims being sold out for 2025 in India and close to selling out for 2026.
There is another manufacturing investment the company announced in October 2022 for a $270 million dedicated R&D line at Perrysburg, Ohio—a pilot production line to produce full-size prototypes of both thin film and tandem PV cells (see First Solar’s Q3/2022 Sales Up YoY, Yet Suffers Net Loss).
First Solar had announced its intention to location a new manufacturing facility in the US post the government clearing Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which has promoted a chain reaction of sorts from various solar PV companies announcing either expansion or foray into US PV manufacturing (see First Solar Reveals 4th US Solar Manufacturing Facility).
“The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 has firmly placed America on the path to a sustainable energy future,” said First Solar CEO Mark Widmar. “This facility, along with its sister factories in Ohio, will form part of the industrial foundation that helps ensure this transition is powered by American innovation and ingenuity.”